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Message 35016 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014 | 14:03:35 UTC

Hello !

I see there are a lot of questions about the GPU's load.

I am currently running 2*GTX770, and their average GPU Load is +/- 78 %
A friend of mine is running a TITAN, at 60 % GPU Load

Does anyone know if adding a .config file (not an app_config.xml) containing :

threads=6
items_per_kernel=20
kernels_per_reduction=6

will or would improve the GPU load up to 90/95 % cores use ?
(figures are from an example found on collatz optimisation forum ...)

Thank You

Kind Regards

Philippe

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Message 35026 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | 1:21:01 UTC - in response to Message 35016.
Last modified: 14 Feb 2014 | 1:22:29 UTC

Do you mean a Boinc Client Configuration file, cc_config.xml?
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Message 35028 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | 5:52:56 UTC - in response to Message 35026.
Last modified: 14 Feb 2014 | 5:55:25 UTC

Hello !

Thank You for your message.

No, it's not an .xml file.

ProgrammData>BOINC>Project>ProjectName>application_name.config

I mean a .config file, such as the one proposed by Collatz admin
(between you and me, Not the best solution to keep BOINC user friendly, but apparently it works to increase GPU's load)

See : http://boinc.thesonntags.com/collatz/forum_thread.php?id=1115

File name : solo_collatz_6.04_windows_x86_64__opencl_nvidia_gpu.config
File's details :
threads=6
items_per_kernel=22
kernels_per_reduction=9
sleep=1

PrimeGrid also proposes this kind of gpu load adjustment, but easier to use as it is an option in the preference pages. They call it "block size".
http://www.primegrid.com/forum_thread.php?id=3982


If I was using a TITAN, I would simply adapt the app_config.xml in order to tun 2 WU's at the same time.

But on the GTX770, there is "only" 20 % margin.

=> If I understand correctly what is explained in collatz and primegrid's forums, one can "play" with the "items per kernel" field in order to increase GPU Load.

As this is not "user friendly", I prefer primegrid's solution : an option in the preferences.

You could also imagine the following solution :

You, GPUGRID, as specialists, you could figure out which settings suit best each type of card (Fermi, Kepler, ....) and propose in your preferences 3 or 4 boxes among which we could choose our type of card ?

Thank you for your understanding,

Kind Regards,

Philippe

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Message 35044 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | 21:34:30 UTC

NB I don't know if one can compare maths and folding, but on
a maths project, thanks to such a .config file,
GPU Load jumped from 77 % to 99 %
Running time down from 35 mins to 20 mins ... / WU

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Message 35045 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 0:32:29 UTC - in response to Message 35028.


You could also imagine the following solution :

You, GPUGRID, as specialists, you could figure out which settings suit best each type of card (Fermi, Kepler, ....) and propose in your preferences 3 or 4 boxes among which we could choose our type of card ?

Thank you for your understanding,

Kind Regards,

Philippe


I think that would be a great idea. I hate to see my 780TI only run on 70%. There must be a way to improve that (apart from Linux and Windows XP), and overall gain would be awesome IMO

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Message 35047 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 9:46:58 UTC
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014 | 9:47:32 UTC

You're right.
My opinion = projects proposing the crunchers to use mainly high-end cards should / could ensure that the hardware is used optimally and not underutilized. Otherwise what is the point of investing so much time and money?
Or at least offer the possibility to easily configure the preferences in accordance with their hardware.

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Message 35048 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 13:13:37 UTC - in response to Message 35047.

You're right.
My opinion = projects proposing the crunchers to use mainly high-end cards should / could ensure that the hardware is used optimally and not underutilized. Otherwise what is the point of investing so much time and money?
Or at least offer the possibility to easily configure the preferences in accordance with their hardware.


You are thinking from a crunchers perspective and not the projects perspective, a cruncher wants to see results of his crunching, the project has no illusions about ever seeing positive results and in fact will probably have to modify their formulas we crunchers use many times over the life of the project. A project is not a one or two year thing, in most cases, it can be a lifes work for a Scientist. What you and I, as crunchers, buy is totally immaterial to the project, they are in it for the long run. Sure faster processors, cpu or gpu, means faster results, but that isn't always helpful to a project. Sometimes it is just noise and too much of it can be a bad thing. What they want is good solid repeatable results, not a one off WOW moment. Using standard across the board programming can produce that, tweaking this or that for this or that user does not.

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Message 35050 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 14:34:16 UTC - in response to Message 35047.

You're right.
My opinion = projects proposing the crunchers to use mainly high-end cards should / could ensure that the hardware is used optimally and not underutilized. Otherwise what is the point of investing so much time and money?
Or at least offer the possibility to easily configure the preferences in accordance with their hardware.


It's becoming obvious that Vista/7/8 are not suitable for high performance computing. They're meant for kids to use for tweeting about Justin Bieber and for parents to use for organizing photos and balancing their chequebooks. It's good to hear Collatz and PG have found a way around Microsoft's barriers to high performance computing but the methods they use for their trivial little prime number search algorithms might not adapt well to something as complicated as what this project is doing.

It's unfortunate that your big investment isn't paying off but, in investor speak, your investment portfolio doesn't leverage your individual investments. That's not GPUgrid's fault, that's your fault. Now do what wise investors do and dump the investment that's holding you back and invest in something that works for rather than against you.

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Message 35075 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 19:34:22 UTC - in response to Message 35050.


It's becoming obvious that Vista/7/8 are not suitable for high performance computing. They're meant for kids to use for tweeting about Justin Bieber and for parents to use for organizing photos and balancing their chequebooks.

Now do what wise investors do and dump the investment that's holding you back and invest in something that works for rather than against you.


Yea linux is better. The reason im not running Linux but W7 is that right now im just surfing while running WCG and GPUgrid, but in 10 minutes I might want to play BF4. If I was running linux I would have to shut down linux to boot up windows to play BF4. After that I would have to shut down Windows to boot up linux to run BOINC again. Then it's easier just to run it all in windows

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Message 35089 - Posted: 16 Feb 2014 | 2:10:23 UTC - in response to Message 35075.


It's becoming obvious that Vista/7/8 are not suitable for high performance computing. They're meant for kids to use for tweeting about Justin Bieber and for parents to use for organizing photos and balancing their chequebooks.

Now do what wise investors do and dump the investment that's holding you back and invest in something that works for rather than against you.


Yea linux is better. The reason im not running Linux but W7 is that right now im just surfing while running WCG and GPUgrid, but in 10 minutes I might want to play BF4. If I was running linux I would have to shut down linux to boot up windows to play BF4. After that I would have to shut down Windows to boot up linux to run BOINC again. Then it's easier just to run it all in windows


Ahhh, I see. If BF4 and BOINC didn't require access to your GPU you could boot just Linux and then run Windows in a virtual machine on Linux and play BF4 on that virtual Windows. Or, vice-versa, you could boot only Win7 and play BF4 on it and crunch on BOINC running on a virtual Linux machine hosted by Win7. Either scenario avoids booting back and forth.

Actually, if you have a CPU with VT-d you can make either of those scenarios work with Zen, IIUC. VT-d is available on certain Intel Haswell CPUs.

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Message 35093 - Posted: 16 Feb 2014 | 10:37:18 UTC
Last modified: 16 Feb 2014 | 10:44:17 UTC

Understood.

BUT : BOINC should remain a "user friendly" platform, right ?
Or is it intended to be used by "specialists" only ?

Furthermore, what's the point coding application that don't use the hardware optimaly ? especially when you read the list of "prefered" GPU's ...

http://www.gpugrid.net/forum_thread.php?id=2507

On the long run, how do you want crunchers to continue investing in hardware if the projects are not improving the "final user's interface" ?

Why should one buy a TITAN or 780Ti if it is "underused" ? While a 660 Ti is running at 99 % GPU Load ?

Yes, I am thinking as a cruncher, because I am only a cruncher.

And a LOT of crunchers, don't understand why their hardware is not used optimally.

If GPUGRID improves the way one can choose to load the GPU's, it will result in a perfect WIN/WIN deal !

Collatz and PrimeGrid admins understand this very well and are adapting their preferences to the different "types" of GPU's.

Concerning the technical possibility of doing it, I have clearly mentionned in a previous post that I don't know if it was possible for BIO/FOLDING projects.

Finally, adding a simple .config file (not an app_config.xml) is not so complicated, and can easily improve the GPU Load of High End GPU such as TITAN, 780, 780TI, 770, ...

Please don't forget that Crunchers and projects have the same objectives / goals.

@Dagorath : Not using Linux or any free OS because I am not an IT specialist.
However, as far as investments are concerned, it's too easy to say it's investor's fault. Have been in this business since 25 years, and BOINC is the contrary of an investment. It's a GIFT to MANKIND.

@mikey : ... I am not referring to daily updates. But at least, at one stage, offer the possibility to choose between 3 or 4 different kind of settings, adapted to : Pre Kepler Cards, Kepler Cards, and later to the next generation of GPU's architecture.

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Message 35095 - Posted: 16 Feb 2014 | 13:05:33 UTC - in response to Message 35093.

Understood.

BUT : BOINC should remain a "user friendly" platform, right ?
Or is it intended to be used by "specialists" only ?

Furthermore, what's the point coding application that don't use the hardware optimaly ? especially when you read the list of "prefered" GPU's ...

http://www.gpugrid.net/forum_thread.php?id=2507

On the long run, how do you want crunchers to continue investing in hardware if the projects are not improving the "final user's interface" ?

Why should one buy a TITAN or 780Ti if it is "underused" ? While a 660 Ti is running at 99 % GPU Load ?

Yes, I am thinking as a cruncher, because I am only a cruncher.

And a LOT of crunchers, don't understand why their hardware is not used optimally.

If GPUGRID improves the way one can choose to load the GPU's, it will result in a perfect WIN/WIN deal !

Collatz and PrimeGrid admins understand this very well and are adapting their preferences to the different "types" of GPU's.


Yes some projects are MUCH better at keeping up to date then others projects.

@mikey : ... I am not referring to daily updates. But at least, at one stage, offer the possibility to choose between 3 or 4 different kind of settings, adapted to : Pre Kepler Cards, Kepler Cards, and later to the next generation of GPU's architecture.


All of that takes time and know how, just because they have the ability to use gpu's doesn't mean they have an expert who can program and maintain the thing. You are again thinking from a crunchers perspective, some projects, NOT ALL OF THEM, have very limited budgets and get people to come in and tweak the software for pizza and beer. You kinda get what you get at those projects, it works but to get it tweaked to the nth degree would mean paying someone and those folks can cost a ton of money which again they don't have. Also tweaking can make a change in the results and they have to very careful that todays results are comparable to tomorrows results, and yesterdays results too.

Sure I to would LOVE for each project to have access to shiploads of cash and be able to pay for someone to come in once a week to tweak the software to best use the latest and greatest hardware out there. But these are Science projects, they are not looking for the best way to play Chess, they are looking for repeatable results across a large cross section of users, all with huge differences in their hardware and even Operating Systems ie Nvidia, AMD, Windows, Linux, Mac etc., that all run a similar set of work units.

In short I am NOT disagreeing with you, I am just saying don't look for it to happen anytime soon. We went a long time before Boinc could even use gpu's, now we are up to people using multiple gpu's in the same machine. Boinc has gone from a small standalone model on a single pc to some people running it on a Server and muliple pc's getting the units from it to crunch. Boinc has gone from a huge thing to one guy, Dotsch, porting it to a Linux version that can run off of a single usb stick. Also remember the same guy who designed and got the original funding for Boinc is STILL in charge of the programming today. He DOES have a group of people helping him now, along with a larger group of testers that thrash each and every new version looking for bugs so we normal crunchers never see them. Boinc is evolving and so are the projects, but evolution costs money and what one project does fairly quickly propagates to the other projects. ie PG was having trouble making the new AMD R series of gpu's work for them, Collatz came up with a solution and I posted it as an idea at PG. BOOM PG is now up and running and happily using the Collatz 'fix' for those users with the new gpu's.

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Message 35098 - Posted: 16 Feb 2014 | 16:06:32 UTC - in response to Message 35093.

Understood.

BUT : BOINC should remain a "user friendly" platform, right ?
Or is it intended to be used by "specialists" only ?


Unless you're 16 years old and have no experience with the real world then you should know that none of us gets everything we want all the time. Yes, BOINC should be user friendly but that doesn't mean it should relieve all users of any responsibility to learn more. User friendly is a goal, an ideal, that sometimes cannot be met in the way you expect it to be met. That's the way the world is.

Furthermore, what's the point coding application that don't use the hardware optimaly ? especially when you read the list of "prefered" GPU's ...


The application does use the hardware optimally as long as you don't put roadblocks like Vista/7/8 in its way. I would suggest the project add a warning on the page with preferred cards to tell users their hardware might not perform well on Vista/7/8

On the long run, how do you want crunchers to continue investing in hardware if the projects are not improving the "final user's interface" ?


How do you expect projects to continue improving performance when users refuse to use the grey matter between their ears and learn how to use the tools available?

Why should one buy a TITAN or 780Ti if it is "underused" ? While a 660 Ti is running at 99 % GPU Load ?


Nobody is telling you what you should or should not buy. Buy whatever you want. Use whatever you want. But if it doesn't perform the way you want and you're not using the tools available to you that would make it run the way you want then it's not entirely the project's fault.

Yes, I am thinking as a cruncher, because I am only a cruncher.


You have a choice. You can be just a whiny cruncher who expects everybody else to solve his problems or you can be a cruncher who can adapt to the situation and obtain what he wants on his own.

And a LOT of crunchers, don't understand why their hardware is not used optimally.


If those crunchers would focus on how to get their hardware to run optimally instead of focusing on whining about their problem they would be much happier.

If GPUGRID improves the way one can choose to load the GPU's, it will result in a perfect WIN/WIN deal !


What makes you think it's a problem with loading the GPU? Your logic is flawed. You are reasoning that because that was the problem at some other project then it must be the problem at this project too. And you are assuming the solution that worked somewhere else will also work here.

Collatz and PrimeGrid admins understand this very well and are adapting their preferences to the different "types" of GPU's.


You think the developer at this project doesn't understand anything? The only deficiency in understanding in this matter is your deficiency.

Concerning the technical possibility of doing it, I have clearly mentionned in a previous post that I don't know if it was possible for BIO/FOLDING projects.


It has nothing to do with this project being a bio/folding project, nothing at all. This could happen to any type of project.

Finally, adding a simple .config file (not an app_config.xml) is not so complicated, and can easily improve the GPU Load of High End GPU such as TITAN, 780, 780TI, 770, ...


A .config file is easy to add but don't assume that the problem here is the same kind of problem they have had at other projects and that it can be solved with the same methods. You only demonstrate your naivety when you assume that way.

Please don't forget that Crunchers and projects have the same objectives / goals.


Nobody has forgotten that.

@Dagorath : Not using Linux or any free OS because I am not an IT specialist.


You don't have to be an IT specialist to use Linux. Lots of people with average computer skills use it. You can too if you want to.

However, as far as investments are concerned, it's too easy to say it's investor's fault. Have been in this business since 25 years, and BOINC is the contrary of an investment. It's a GIFT to MANKIND.


Precisely what business have you been in since 25 years... the BOINC business? Sorry, BOINC isn't 25 years old. Maybe you mean you've been in the BOINC business since you were 25 years old. Whatever. You still have a lot to learn about BOINCing with GPUs, computers and life. You think this is Burger King where you get it your way all the time. Nope, not Burger King.

I didn't say BOINC is an investment. Please read my posts before responding. You referred to your GPU as an investment and I merely took your idea 1 or 2 steps further.

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Message 35099 - Posted: 16 Feb 2014 | 16:13:35 UTC - in response to Message 35093.

BOINC should remain a "user friendly" platform, right ?

Yes, it should be. Messing with such .config files and system variables are not so user friendly workarounds...

Or is it intended to be used by "specialists" only ?

...but some "specialists" have higher standards than the average cruncher, and these methods are a quick fix for satisfying them.

Furthermore, what's the point coding application that don't use the hardware optimaly ?

Actually the application is capable of utilizing the hardware optimally (it does on my system), it's the OS which hinders its performance.

especially when you read the list of "prefered" GPU's ...
http://www.gpugrid.net/forum_thread.php?id=2507

There are recommended OSes for those high end cards: WinXP and Linux.
The GPUGrid staff uses Linux for crunching. I'm using Windows XPx64.

On the long run, how do you want crunchers to continue investing in hardware if the projects are not improving the "final user's interface" ?

The user interface is the BOINC manager, the projects make applications for that framework. What can't be handled on the framework level, should be done in the application level through hand crafted .config files and system variables.

Why should one buy a TITAN or 780Ti if it is "underused" ? While a 660 Ti is running at 99 % GPU Load ?

This investment is your choice. If you think it's not worth the money, you can buy two lesser cards instead, choose a different OS, or donate the money directly to the project.

Yes, I am thinking as a cruncher, because I am only a cruncher.

Thinking as a cruncher is the first step. Acting like a cruncher is the second step. Sometimes the cruncher should adapt to the project's requirements to achieve the best results. If you build a system for crunching on it only, then you have the freedom to choose every part of it for that purpose in mind, while knowing that not all configurations (hardware-hardware/OS-application) give the best results for a given project. In this case the given OS (Windows Vista or later) is not the best for the given purpose (GPU crunching). If you can't change the components of your system (eg. use other OS for crunching), then you should accept the limitations of your system for the given purpose (GPUGrid performance).

And a LOT of crunchers, don't understand why their hardware is not used optimally.

It's been discussed many times here: because the WDDM overhead. This safety feature of the OS (Windows Vista and newer) stands between the hardware (the GPU) and the application using that hardware. There is no way for the application to bypass that feature. As the certain part of the calculation GPUGrid does requires double precision, and this part is done by the CPU, so there is a lot of data transfer between the GPU and the CPU (unlike on other project's apps). Different GPUGrid batches need different amount of CPU work, so the GPU utilization level is different between batches, especially on OSes having the WDDM overhead.

If GPUGRID improves the way one can choose to load the GPU's, it will result in a perfect WIN/WIN deal !

This under-utilization problem is temporary, and not present on every OS, so it's might not worth the effort from the project side to fix it (besides, it seems impossible). It's temporary, because it's quite possible that the next generation of NVidia GPUs won't be affected as they will have an integrated ARM CPU on chip.

Collatz and PrimeGrid admins understand this very well and are adapting their preferences to the different "types" of GPU's.

The GPUGrid staff understands this very well too, ...

Concerning the technical possibility of doing it, I have clearly mentionned in a previous post that I don't know if it was possible for BIO/FOLDING projects.

...but this project has a very different application.

Finally, adding a simple .config file (not an app_config.xml) is not so complicated, and can easily improve the GPU Load of High End GPU such as TITAN, 780, 780TI, 770, ...

The GPUGrid application detects the GPU it's running on, so it could (and actually does) adapt to it (to a certain level), so adding a simple .config file wouldn't achieve anything, but some other threads about it. Besides it's not the config file doing the change, but the application should scale itself to the hardware it's running on. Actually this .config file method is the less user-friendly method, as the other app should detect the GPU it's running on, and adapt itself to it as much as possible (without user action).

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Message 36075 - Posted: 3 Apr 2014 | 16:10:47 UTC - in response to Message 35099.

Dear Zoltan,

Thank you for your very POSITIVE, constructive and detailled answer.

Kind Regards,

Phil1966

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Message 36076 - Posted: 3 Apr 2014 | 16:33:24 UTC - in response to Message 36075.

Coming into this a bit late - the application is already configured to use the GPU optimally; the "tuning" that you suggest is already done (by me) and coded in to the program.

If you have a low GPU load then it's down to a mix of 1) Windows' WDM overhead, 2) CPU starvation ( leave a core free), 3) Having a WU type that happens to need some CPU, which inevitably means the GPU spends some time idle and 4) the phase of the moon (if you are running Windows).

HTH

Matt

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Message 36087 - Posted: 4 Apr 2014 | 15:22:32 UTC - in response to Message 36076.

Coming into this a bit late - the application is already configured to use the GPU optimally; the "tuning" that you suggest is already done (by me) and coded in to the program.

If you have a low GPU load then it's down to a mix of 1) Windows' WDM overhead, 2) CPU starvation ( leave a core free), 3) Having a WU type that happens to need some CPU, which inevitably means the GPU spends some time idle and 4) the phase of the moon (if you are running Windows).

HTH

Matt


and 5) the nVidia driver you are using. The latest is not the fastest for a GTX780Ti.
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Message 36096 - Posted: 5 Apr 2014 | 11:26:30 UTC - in response to Message 36087.

Coming into this a bit late - the application is already configured to use the GPU optimally; the "tuning" that you suggest is already done (by me) and coded in to the program.

If you have a low GPU load then it's down to a mix of 1) Windows' WDM overhead, 2) CPU starvation ( leave a core free), 3) Having a WU type that happens to need some CPU, which inevitably means the GPU spends some time idle and 4) the phase of the moon (if you are running Windows).

HTH

Matt


and 5) the nVidia driver you are using. The latest is not the fastest for a GTX780Ti.


You are correct, but the gamers love it! This has always been a 'problem' for us crunchers, upgrading to the latest drivers can actually mean a slow down in crunching speed!

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